The Empires of the Bible from the Confusion of Tongues to the Babylonian Captivity

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CHAPTER VI. THE BEGINNINGS OF KINGDOMS

IN the plain of Shinar, through the confusion of tongues, was the origin of nations. There also was the beginning of kingdoms. “When the light of monumental history first dawns upon Babylonia, we find the country inhabited by two races, the Sumir and Akkad. They spoke two different languages, one Turanian, 1 the other Semitic; but we have no information as to which race spoke either [both] language[s], and we do not know their geographical distribution in the country; but probably they were mixed in most parts, as many of the cities have both Turanian and Semitic names. The name of the Sumir was written Kame, or Ke-en-gi, in Turanian, and Su-mi-ri in Semitic; and the Akkad were called Urdu in Turanian, and Ak-ka-di in Semitic. EB 49.1

2. “The Turanian people, who appear to have been the original inhabitants of the country, invented the cuneiform mode of writing; EB 49.2

A- na- ku Assur - bani -Pal sar rab - u sar I am Assur - bani -pal the great king, the powerful king, EB 49.3

SPECIMEN OF CUNEIFORM WRITING. EB 49.4

all the earliest inscriptions are in that language; but the proper names of most of the kings and principal persons are written in Semitic, in direct contrast to the body of the inscriptions. The Semitic, appear to have conquered the Turanians, although they had not yet imposed their language on the country. Babylonia at this time contained many great cities.” 2 The principal ones were Nipur, Eridu, Ur, Karrak, Uruk (Erech), Larsa (Ellasar), Sippara (the later Sepharvaim), and Agade, “the city of Akkad, the third capital of Nimrod.” EB 49.5

3. The earliest rulers whose names have been discovered in Babylonia, did not bear the title of king at all. In every instance before the time of Nimrod, the word used is one which signifies “viceroy.” The god is king, and ruler claims no higher authority than that of substitute or servant of his god who is really the king. For instance, a certain Idadu made an inscription running as follows:— EB 50.1

“To [the god] Ninridu, his King, for the preservation of Idadu, Viceroy of Ridu, the servant, the delight of Ninridu.” EB 50.2

4. And again, a certain Gudea wrote as follows:—“To [the god] Ninip the King, his King, Gudea Viceroy of [the god] Zirgulla, his house built.” “To [the goddess] Nana the Lady, Lady splendid, His Lady, Gudea, Viceroy of Zirgulla ... raised.” 3 EB 50.3

5. This points clearly to a time when God was recognized as the only King, and the true Ruler. And when false gods were put in the place of the true God, they were yet recognized as the real kings, and men in places of authority were but their substitutes. This change was so recent, too, that rulers were not yet bold enough to take to themselves the title of king. It was not much longer, however, before this step was taken. One arose who was bold enough to do this and all that it involved. EB 50.4

6. Nimrod was this bold man. The name that he bears “signifies rebellion, supercilious contempt, and, according to Gesenius, is equivalent to ‘the extremely impious rebel.’” 4 And “he began to be a mighty one in the earth.” Or, as another translation gives it, he “was the first mighty one in the earth.” 5 That is, he was the first one to establish the power of an organized kingdom, or government, as such, in the world. EB 50.5

7. “With the setting up of Nimrod’s kingdom, the entire ancient world entered a new historical phase. The oriental tradition which makes that warrior the first man who wore a kingly crown, points to a fact more significant than the assumption of a new ornament of dress, or even the conquest of a province. His reign introduced to the world a new system of relations between the government and the governed. The authority of former rulers had rested upon the feeling of kindred, and the ascendency of the chief was an image of parental control. Nimrod, on the contrary, was a sovereign of territory, and of men just so far as they were its inhabitants, and irrespective of personal ties. Hitherto there had been tribes—enlarged families—Society; now there was a nation, a political community—the State. The political and social history of the world henceforth are distinct, if not divergent.” 6 EB 51.1

8. “And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.” The names here given of Babylonia. For Accad was the country of northern Babylonia; the city of Accad lying near Sippara, 7 which was about twenty miles north of Babylon. Erech lay about one hundred and twenty miles south of Babylon, on the northern edge of the original Chaldea proper; Chaldea, in the native inscriptions, defining the coast country at the head of the Persian Gulf and near the mouth of the Euphrates. Calneh lay to the eastward, about half-way between Babel and Erech, toward the western stream of the Lower Tigris. This would give an area of territory about equal to that of Vermont kingdom of Nimrod. EB 51.2

9. This, however, was but “the beginning of his kingdom.” For “out of that land he went forth into Assyria, and builded Nineveh, and Rehoboth-Ir, and Calah, and Resen between Nineveh and Calah.” This is the reading of the Revised Version, and also of the margin of the King James Version, of Genesis 10:11, as well as the text of the German, the Danish-Norwegian, and several other translations. Its correctness seems also to be confirmed by Micah 5:6, “And they shall waste the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod in the entrances thereof,” where the poetic parallelism makes “Assyria and the land of Nimrod synonymous terms.” EB 51.3

10. This is supported also by the Assyrian records, which show that the city of Asshur, now Kileh-Shergat, sixty miles south of Nineveh, was the capital of Assyria, hundreds of years before Nineveh became the capital. If it was Asshur, instead of Nimrod, who went forth and built Nineveh, why then was not Nineveh, instead of Asshur, the capital from the beginning? But as the city of Asshur was the original, and long-continued capital; and as it is evident from the name itself that this city was founded by Asshur, and took its name from him; this gives further consistency to the reading here preferred, in that it shows that the country was already Assyria, and justifies the statement that “he went out into Assyria and built Nineveh.” In this way, too, not only “the beginning,” but also the extension, of Nimrod’s kingdom is shown, and the account made complete. EB 52.1

11. From all this, the historical fact concerning the kingdom of Nimrod is that the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar; and that it was extended even to Assyria, by his going forth into the land of Asshur and building cities and establishing his power there. “It was during the Kassite [Cushite] period of Babylonian history that the kingdom of Assyria was founded, thus explaining the statement of Genesis that the kingdom of Nimrod, which began in northern Babylonia, was continued in Assyria; as well as the passage in Micah (verse 6), where the parallelism proves that Assyria and ‘the land of Nimrod’ are synonymous terms.”—Sayce. 8 EB 52.2

12. Beyond this, nothing is definitely known of either Nimrod or his kingdom. But his fame “has always been rife in the country of his domination. Arab writers record a number of remarkable traditions in which he plays a conspicuous part; and there is little doubt but that it is in honor of his apotheosis that the constellation Orion bears in Arabian astronomy the title of ‘El-Jabbar,’ or ‘the giant.’ Even at the present day his name lives in the mouth of the people inhabiting Chaldea and the adjacent regions, whose memory of ancient heroes is almost confined to three—Nimrod, Solomon, and Alexander. Wherever a mound of ashes is to be seen in Babylonia or the adjoining countries, the local traditions attach to it the name of Nimrud, or Nimrod; and the most striking ruins now existing in the Mesopotamian valley, whether in its upper or its lower portion, are made in this way monuments of his glory.”—Rawlinson. 9 EB 52.3

13. The early history of Babylonia is very much disconnected. The names of a number of kings of different parts of the country are well known, showing that the monarchy which Nimrod had established did not continue any great length of time, if at all, after his death. While there is much about these known kings that is uncertain, there is one thing that is beyond all question,—the example of conquest and dominion left by Nimrod, was greedily followed by many other men in all parts of the country. EB 53.1

14. No attempt will be made to fix the dates of these early kings. Their order may be arranged with some satisfaction, though perhaps not with perfect accuracy; but as for their dates, “we are at present ignorant of the precise way in which the Babylonians reckoned their chronology.” Therefore, “too much confidence must not be placed in the earlier dates given in the dynastic tablets. The reigns of the kings are suspiciously long, and the same number of regnal years recurs with almost impossible accuracy,” “From the era of Nabonassar (B. C. 747) downward, Babylonian chronology was fixed by means of astronomy; before that period it appears to have been determined by the reigns of the kings and the duration of dynasties. In legal documents of the time of Khammuragas (or Khammurabi) deeds are not even dated by the regnal years of the sovereign; but by such occurrences as war, the construction of a canal, or the capture of a city. Under such circumstances it is plain that the historian who endeavored to restore the early chronology of Babylonia had an extremely difficult task before him.”—Sayce. 10 For these most ancient times there is nothing safer than the Bible chronology. This, though not in all cases exact, is safely approximate, and is the standard adopted for this book. EB 53.2

15. Kudur=nanhundi, an Elamite, was apparently the first of the noted followers of Nimrod in the ambition for conquest. We know of him only indirectly, however, through an inscription of Assur-bani-pal, who was king of Assyria, B. C. 668-626. In his record of the capture and spoiling of Shushan, the capital of Elam, which occurred in the year 645 B. C., he states that he brought away and restored to her temple in Erech, an image of the goddess Nana which had been carried to Elam 1635 (in another place he says 1535) years before, by Kudur-nanhundi. The following is the record:— EB 54.1

“Kudur-nanhundi, the Elamite, who the worship of the great gods did not fear, who in an evil resolve to his own force trusted, on the temples of Akkad his hands he had laid, and he oppressed Akkad. Nana he carried off. The days were full, extinguished was power, and the great gods these things saw. For two ner seven sos and fifteen years under the Elamites she remained. The great gods of me, Assur-bani pal, the prince, their worshiper, to overwhelm Elam they sent me. EB 54.2

“Nana, who 1635 years had been desecrated, had gone, and dwelt in Elam, a place not appointed to her; and in those days, she and the gods her fathers, proclaimed my name to the dominion of the earth. The return of her divinity she entrusted to me, thus: ‘Assurbanipal, from the midst of Elam wicked, bring me out, and cause me to enter into Bitanna.’ The will commanded by their divinity, which from days remote they had uttered; again they spoke to later people. The hands of her great divinity I took hold of, and the straight road, rejoicing in heart, she took to Bitanna. In the month Kislew, the first day, into Erech I caused her to enter, and in Bithilianni, which she had delighted in, I set her up an enduring sanctuary.” EB 54.3

16. The other passage reads as follows:— EB 54.4

“Sixty kaspu of ground within Elam I laid waste, destruction, servitude, and drought, I poured over them. Nana who 1535 years had been desecrated, had gone, and dwelt in Elam. The return of her divinity she entrusted to me. The will of her divinity, which from days remote she had uttered; again she spoke to later people. The hands of Nana,” etc. 11 EB 54.5

17. If Assur-bani-pal counted correctly, and if the longer period is correct, this gives B. C. 2280 as the year of Kudur-nanhundi’s invasion of Babylonia. If the shorter period be correct, then the year was B. C. 2180. However there is nothing in this account to show that this invasion was anything more than one of those forays that were of such frequent occurrence in ancient times, and especially in those earliest of ancient times. For it is evident that he did not remain in the country of Accad. EB 55.1

18. Urukh king of Ur, was the next of these earliest and notable ones. He was “beyond question the earliest Chaldean monarch of whom any remains have been obtained in the country.”—Rawlinson. 12 His original city, and the seat of his kingdom was Ur. By his efforts Ur was raised to the supremacy in the Babylonian plain. “The numerous principalities of Chaldea were united under one head;” and “sovereignty over the whole of Babylonia” was again held by one man. The Babel and Erech and Accad and Calneh of the beginning of Nimrod’s kingdom, were also subject to the power of Urukh. EB 55.2

19. As Nimrod was the first mighty hunter, so Urukh was the first mighty builder. Indeed, “it is as a builder of gigantic works” that Urukh is chiefly known to us. The basements of his temples are of an enormous size; though they cannot seriously be compared with the Egyptian pyramids, yet they indicate the employment for many years of a vast amount of human labor in a very unproductive sort of industry. The Bowariyeh mound at Warka [Erech] is two hundred feet square and about one hundred feet high. Its cubic contents, as originally built, can have been little, if at all, under three million feet; and above thirty million bricks must have been used in its construction. EB 55.3

20. “Constructions of a similar character, and not very different in their dimensions, are proved by the bricks comprising them, to have been raised by the same monarch at Ur, Calneh or Nipur, and Larancha or Larsa, which is perhaps Ellasar. It is evident from the size and number of these works, that their erecter had the command of a vast amount of ‘naked human strength,’ and did not scruple to employ that strength in constructions from which no material benefit was derivable, but chiefly to extend his own fame and perpetuate his glory. We gather from this that he was either an oppressor of his people, like some of the Pyramid kings in Egypt, or else a conqueror who thus employed the numerous captives carried off in his expeditions.”—Rawlinson. 13 EB 55.4

21. Idolatry had become quite fully developed in the time of Urukh; for his great buildings were dedicated to the sun, to the moon, to Belus, or to Beltis. At the ruins of Erech, bricks were found bearing the inscription: “Beltis, his lady, has caused Urukh, the pious chief, king of Ur, and king of the land of the Akkad, to build a temple to her.” At Ur the bricks bear the inscriptions: “The Moon-god, his lord, has caused Urukh, king of Ur, to build a temple to him, and has caused him to build the enciente of Ur.” “The Moon-god, brother’s son of Anu, and eldest son of Belus, his lord, has caused Urukh, the pious chief, king of Ur, to build the temple of Tsingathu his holy place.” At Larsa, now Senkereh, the inscription is: “The Sun-god, his lord, has caused Urukh the pious chief, king of Ur, king of the land of the Akkad, to build a temple to him.” At Calneh the inscription runs: “Urukh, king of Ur, and king of the land of the Akkad, who has built the temple of Belus.” 14 EB 56.1

22. He also bore the title of “king of Sumir and Akkad;”—upper and lower Babylonia. Such inscriptions run thus: “To [the god] Ur, eldest son of Bel his king, Urukh the powerful man, the fierce warrior, King of Ur, King of Sumir and Akkad, Bit-timgal the house of his delight built;” “To [the goddess] Nana his Lady, Urukh the powerful man, King of Ur, King of Sumir and Akkad her house built.” 15 EB 56.2

23. Dungi, or Ilgi, the son of Urukh, succeeded his father in the kingdom, and called himself “Dungi, the powerful man, king of Ur, king of Sumir and Akkad.” 16 His signet cylinder, so far as it has been deciphered, says: “To the manifestation of Nergal, king of Bit-zida, of Zurgallu, for the saving of the life of Ilgi, the powerful hero, the king of Ur, ... son of Urukh, ... may his name be preserved.” 17 Yet another inscription of his found by Mr. George Smith, of London, in 1873-74, which “belongs to the city of Babylon, and is dedicated to the lady or goddess ‘Su-anna, or Emuk-anu,’ one of the religious names of Babylon,” and which thus “proves that Babylon was at that time under the dominion of the city of Ur,” runs as follows:— EB 56.3

“1. To the goddess of Emukanu
2. his lady;
3. Dungi
4. the powerful hero,
5. the king of the city of Ur,
6. king of Sumir and Akkad;
7. her temple
8. has built.” 18
EB 57.1

24. Dungi finished some of the great buildings left unfinished at the death of his father, and built others of his own; and seems to have maintained in all respects the dominion established by his father. At his death the supremacy of the city and kingdom of Ur came to an end, and not long afterward the whole country fell under the sway of a great conqueror from Elam. EB 57.2

25. Chedorlaomer, or Kudur-lagamer, was this king of Elam. “And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar [Central Babylonia], Arioch king of Ellasar [Lower Babylonia, or Chaldea], Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations [Goiim, or nomadic tribes]; that these made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar. All these were joined together in the vale of Siddim, which is the salt sea. Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer.” 19 The Bible chronology places this about B. C. 1917. EB 57.3

26. “Kudur-Lagamer, the Elamitic prince, ... [who] marched an army a distance of 1200 miles, from the shores of the Persian Gulf to the Dead Sea, and held Palestine and Syria in subjection for twelve years, ... has a good claim to be regarded as one of the most remarkable personages in the world’s history.... At a time when the kings of Egypt had never ventured beyond their borders, unless it were for a foray in Ethiopia; and when in Asia no monarch had had dominion over more than a few petty tribes, and a few hundred miles of territory, he conceived the magnificent notion of binding into one the manifold nations inhabiting the vast tract between the Zagros mountain range and the Mediterranean. Lord by inheritance (as we may presume) of Elam and Chaldea, or Babylonia, he was not content with these ample tracts; but, coveting more, proceeded on a career of conquest up the Euphrates valley, and through Syria into Palestine. Successful here, he governed for twelve years dominions extending near a thousand miles from east to west, and from north to south, probably not much short of five hundred.”—Rawlinson. 20 EB 58.1

27. “Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled. And in the fourteenth year came Chedorlaomer, and the kings that were with him, and smote the Rephaims in Ashteroth Karnaim, the Zuzims in Ham, and the Emims in Shaveh-Kiriathaim, and the Horites 21 in their mount Seir, unto El-paran, which is by the wilderness. EB 58.2

28. “And they returned, and came to En-mishpat, which is Kadesh, and smote all the country of the Amalakites, and also the Amorites, that dwelt in Hazezon-tamar. And there went out the king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah, and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (the same is Zoar;) and they joined battle with them in the vale of Siddim; with Chedorlaomer the king of Elam, and with Tidal king of nations, and Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar; four kings with five. And the vale of Siddim was full of slimepits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there; and they that remained fled to the mountain. And they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way. And they took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed. And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate with Abram. EB 58.3

29. “And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan. And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus. And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.” 22 EB 59.1

30. After the power of Chedorlaomer in Babylonia was ended, the city of Karrak attained to the ascendency. Of the kings of Karrak at this time, we have the names and inscriptions of four. EB 59.2

31. Gamil=ninip gives this record of himself:— EB 59.3

“Gamil-ninip exalted ruler of Nipur ...
of Ur ... Lord of Eridu,
beneficent Lord of Uruk, King of Karrak,
King of Sumir and Akkad,
the relative, the delight of the eyes of Nana.”

32. Libit=anunit describes himself as follows:— EB 59.4

“Libit-anunit, first ruler of Nipur,
the supreme over Ur, ... of Eridu,
beneficent Lord of Uruk, King of Karrak,
King of Sumir and Akkad, the restorer of Nana.
Who Bit-mekit restored.”

33. Ismi=dagan was not only the greatest of these kings of Karrak, but was among the greatest kings of those early times. His personal inscription runs thus:— EB 59.5

“Ismi-dagan, the nourisher of Nipur,
the supreme over Ur, the light of Eridu,
Lord of Uruk, the powerful king,
King of Karrak, King of Sumir and Akkad,
the relative, the delight of Nana.”

34. Ismi-dagan, however, was not content with the dominion of the whole of the southern country. After the example of Nimrod, he extended his sway to the northward over the country of Asshur. He governed the country of Assyria by one of his sons as viceroy. At the city of Asshur, the original capital of Assyria, this son of Ismi-dagan built temples which were rebuilt hundreds of years afterward by the first Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria. This Tiglath-pileser says that sixty years before his time, his great-grandfather had pulled down a temple which had been built six hundred and forty-one years before that, by Samas-Rimmon (or Shamas-Vul), the son of Ismi-dagan. Tiglath-pileser’s reign began about 1120 B. C. Adding to this the seven hundred and one (60+641) years, we are carried back to 1821 B. C., for the building of this temple. This, therefore, would place the time of the career of Ismi-dagan about the middle of the nineteenth century before Christ, or about fifty years after the time of Chedorlaomer. About that time, then, Ismi-dagan had established his dominion over all the country from Assyria to the Persian Gulf, and was ruling Assyria by one son and Ur by another. EB 60.1

35. Gunguna was the son of Ismi-dagan who governed Ur, and who succeeded his father as king of Ur. He is notable as the builder of great public cemeteries at his capital of Ur. His inscription reads as follows:— EB 60.2

“To Samas, the ruler tuda [of the god] Ur,
leader of Bit-nirkinugal [the god] Ningal ra tuda his Kings
for the preservation of Gunguna the powerful man,
King of [the city of] Ur, for the establishing of Anu,
for the restoring of [the god] Ur for [the god] Ur within
[the city of] Ur,
the son of Ismi-dagan king of Sumir and Akkad,
Bit-hiliani built, Bit-ginablungani built,
for his preservation he built.” 23

36. Agu=kak=rimi, of Babylon, was the next of these followers of Nimrod and Chedorlaomer. He holds the distinction of being the earliest known person to bear the definite title “King of Babylon.” His genealogy, his title, and the countries of his dominion, are given by himself as follows:— EB 61.1

1. Agu-kak-rimi23. the powerful one am I.
2. the son of Tassi-gurubar,24. The ruler of
3. the noble seed25. many peoples,
4. of Suqamunu,26. the warrior
5. named by the gods Anu and Bel,27. of rulers,
6. Hea and Merodach,28. the establisher
7. Sin and Shamas.29. of the throne of his father
8. The powerful chief30. am I.
9. of Ishtar, the archer31. The king of the Kassi,
10. of the goddesses, am I.32. and Akkadi,
11. The king judicious and wise,33. the king of Babylon
12. the king learned and friendly,34. the great.
13. the son of Tassi-gurubar,35. The settler of
14. the grandson36. the land of Asnunnak the people
15. of Abi ....37. numerous of Padan,
16. the powerful warrior38. and Alman, king of Goiium,
17. devouring his enemies,39. the people mighty,
18. the eldest son40. the king the director,
19. of Agu-rabi,41. of the four races,
20. the noble seed, the royal seed42. the follower of the great gods
21. of Ummih-zirriti.43. am I.” 24
22. the ruler of men

37. He further tells how that he sent an officer “to a remote country, to the land of Nani” to bring back to Babylon some gods that had been carried away at some former time, from Babylon to that country. The country of Nani was a district not a very great distance to the northeast of Babylonia. This would imply that there had been a raid of those people into the land of Shinar, and that the forces of Babylon had been worsted so that their city or their camp was plundered. EB 61.2

38. Sargon, of Accad, was the next one of the great conquerors. The story of his conquests we have in his own words. Each campaign was undertaken under the auspices of the moon. By the color and shape of the moon it was decided when it was “favorable.” EB 61.3

In addition to its historical value, this account is interesting for the view it gives of divination by the moon. His story is as follows:—

“1. When the moon at its setting, with the color of a dust-cloud filled the crescent, the moon was favorable for Sargon who at this season
2. marched against the country of Elam, and subjugated the men of Elam.
3. Misery he brought upon them; their food he cut off.
4. When the moon at its setting filled the crescent with the color of a
dust-cloud, and over the face of the sky the color extended behind the moon during the day, and remained bright,
5. the moon was favorable for Sargon who marched against the country
of Phoenicia, and
6. subjugated the country of Phoenicia. His hand conquered the four
quarters of the world.
7. When the moon increased in form on the right hand and on the left,
and moreover during the day the finger reached over the horns,
8. the moon was favorable for Sargon who at this season produced joy
in Babylon, and
9. like dust the spoil of Bab-dhuna was carried away, and....
10.... he made Accad a city; the city of ... he called its name;
11. the men of ... in the midst he caused to dwell.

19. When the moon was fixed, and a span, ... the moon was favorable
to Sargon as for whom at this season the goddess Istar
20. with favors filled for him his hand ... the goddess Istar all
countries
21. caused him to conquer; ...
22. When the moon appeared like a lion, the moon was favorable to
Sargon, who at this season
23. was very exalted and a rival or equal had not; his own county was at
peace. Over
24. the countries of the sea of the setting sun 25 he crossed, and for 3
years at the setting sun
25. all countries his hand conquered. Every place to form but one
empire he appointed. His images, at the setting sun 26. he erected. The spoil he caused to pass over into the countries of the sea. 27. When the moon on the right hand was like the color of gall, and there was no finger; the upper part was long and the moon was setting (?), 28. the moon was favorable for Sargon, who enlarged his palace of Delight (?) by 5 mitkhu, and 29. established the chiefs in it, and called it, the House of Kiam-izallik. 30. When the moon was like a cloud (?), like the color of gall, and there was no finger; on the right side was the color of a sword; the circumference of the left side was visible; 31. towards its face on the left the color extended; the moon was favorable for Sargon, against whom at this season Kastubila of the country of Kazalla rebelled, and against Kazalla 32. Sargon marched, and he smote their forces; he accomplished their destruction. 33. Their mighty army he annihilated; he reduced Kazalla to dust and ruins. 34. The station of the birds he overthrew. 35. When the moon was like a cloud (?), like the color of gall, and there was no finger; on the right side was the color of a sword; the circumference of the left was visible; 36. and against its face the Seven advanced; the moon was favorable to Sargon, against whom at this season 37. the elders of the whole country revolted and besieged him in the city of Accad; but 38. Sargon issued forth and smote their forces; their destruction he accomplished. Their numerous soldiery he massacred; the spoil that was upon them he collected. ‘The booty of Istar!’ he shouted. 39. When the moon had two fingers, and swords were seen on the right side and the left, and might and peace were on the left, its hand presented a sword; the sword in its left hand was of the color of ‘sukhuruni; the point was held in the left hand and there were two heads; the moon was favorable to Sargon, who at this season subjected the men of the country of ‘Su-edin in its plenitude to the sword, and Sargon caused their seats to be occupied, and smote their forces; their destruction he accomplished; their mighty army he cut off, and his troops he collected; into the city of Accad he brought them back.” 26

39. From this it will be seen that the power of Sargon of Accad was extended over the countries of Elam, Babylon and eastward, Phenicia, and the island of Cyprus; for he passed “over into the countries of the sea.” His dominion was more wide-spread, to the westward at least, than was that of Chedorlaomer. EB 64.1

40. From the quoted inscription of Sargon it is very clear that he dealt deeply in astrology and divination. But this was not all; he was not only a great warrior, and delved deep in astrology and divination, but he was much of a literary man and a patron of astronomy, as well. “At Agade, a suburb of Sippara, Sargon founded a library, especially famous for its works on astrology and astronomy, copies of which were made in later times for the libraries of Assyria.” “It was for him that the great work on astrology and astronomy was compiled in seventy-two books, which Berosus translated into Greek; and another work on the terrestrial omens was also compiled for the same monarch.”—Sayce. 27 EB 64.2

41. Naram=sin was the son and successor of Sargon of Accad. He not only maintained the dominion that his father had acquired, but added to it. Upon the same tablet from which the foregoing annals of Sargon are taken, there was inscribed the following account of this king:— EB 64.3

“The moon was favorable for Naram-sin who at this season marched against the city of Apirak, and utterly destroyed it: Ris-rimmon, the king of Apirak, he overthrew; and the city of Apirak his hand conquered. EB 64.4

“The moon was favorable for Naram-sin who at this season marched against the country of Maganna 28 and seized the country of Maganna, and ... the king of Maganna his hand captured.” 29 EB 64.5

42. Naram-sin followed the example of his father in setting himself up to be worshiped through images of himself; for in the island of Cyprus there was found a Babylonian cylinder bearing the inscription: “Abil-Istar, the son of Ilu-Balidh, the servant of the deified Naram-sin.” EB 64.6

43. Ellat=gulla, a woman, succeeded Naram-sin. But the glory of the House of Sargon had departed, “and Ellat-gulla was the last of her race. A horde of strangers swept over the country, and Agade, or Accad, never again held the rank of a capital.”—Sayce. 30 EB 65.1

44. Kudur=mabuk, another conqueror from Elam, about the time of the death of Naram-sin, came to avenge the conquest of that land by Sargon of Accad. He overran Shinar and Chaldea, conquered Syria, and subdued Phenicia. In consequence of all this he took the titles of “Conqueror of the West,” “Lord of Syria,” and “Father of Phenicia.” “This ruler claimed dominion over the whole country from Syria to Elam.... Although the monuments of this period are inscribed with his name as lord paramount, he did not reign personally in Babylonia. The crown of that country he bestowed on his son Ardu-sin.”—George Smith. 31 One of these inscriptions, which gives also the name of Kudur-mabuk’s father, is as follows:— EB 65.2

“To [the god] Ur his King: Kudur-mabuk, Lord of Syria,
son of Simti-silhak, worshiper of Ur,
his protector marching before him, Bit-rubmah,
for his preservation and the preservation of
Ardu-sin his son, king of Larsa, they built.” 32

45. Rim=agu was the son of Kudur-mabuk. His name is translated rather indefinitely. Besides the name as given in this inscription, it is translated “Riagu,” “Eriacu,” “Ri-im-agu,” and “Rim-agu.” The form that has the preference in the books is the one adopted here. His position and titles as given by himself are as follows:— EB 65.3

“Rim-agu,
the powerful hero,
the governor of Ur,
King of Larsa,
King of Sumir and Akkad.” 33

“Rim-agu, the powerful man, the high Ruler,
established by Bel, nourisher of Ur,
King of Larsa, king of Sumir and Akkad,
son of Kudur-mabuk, the Lord of Elam.” 34

46. The capture of the city of Karrak by Rim-agu was an event to which so much importance was attached that it was used as an era. A number of tablets were found that were dated in “the fifth,” “the sixth,” “the seventh,” “the eighth,” “the thirteenth,” and “the twenty-eighth” “year after Karrak was captured.” One of them reads: “Month Tisritu, 30th day, in the thirteenth year after Karrak, by the living ruler, Rim-agu, was captured.” 35 This proves that Karrak was a place of no little importance. EB 66.1

47. Another inscription of this time is dated, “Month Abu, in the year when the River Tigris, the river of the gods, to the ocean was excavated:” which shows that Rim-agu cut a channel from the Tigris to the Persian Gulf. Another document is dated “in the year when Kisure he [Rim-agu] occupied and his powerful warriors Bel gave him in numbers, and Dur-an he conquered.” “This notice refers to a war in Upper Babylonia, both Kisure and Dur-an being in that part of the country.”—George Smith. 36 EB 66.2

48. Hammurabi, or Khammuragas, broke the power of Kudurmabuk and Rim-agu, and brought their kingdom to an end during their lifetime. This man was the leader of a host of invaders from the borders of Media. He and his followers composed the “horde of strangers” who “swept over the country” of Accad and dispossessed Queen Ellat-gulla of her kingdom. “After obtaining possession of Northern Babylonia, or Akkad, and fixing his capital at Babylon, Hammurabi made war on the southern portion of the country, then ruled by Rim-agu. His first attack was probably the invasion which Rim-agu claims to have repulsed; if so, however, this success only gave a short breathing time to the kingdom of Rim-agu. Hammurabi again attacked him; and, although the king of Larsa called in the aid of the Elamites, he and his allies were defeated in a decisive battle by Hammurabi, who now took possession of the rest of the country.”—George Smith. 37 The triumph of Hammurabi is recorded in the two following inscriptions:— EB 66.3

“Month Sabadu, 22nd day in the year,
when Hammurabi the king, in the service of Anu
and Bel triumphantly marched,
and the Lord of Elam and King Rim-agu he overthrew.”
“Month Nisannu in the year when
Hammurabi the King in the service of Anu
and Bel triumphantly marched.”38

49. “In spite of the brilliant reigns of Sargon and Naram-sin, who ruled in Upper Babylonia, the most important seats had hitherto been in the lower country. With the reign of Hammurabi all this was changed.... From the time when Hammurabi fixed his court at Babylon, that city continued to be the capital of the country down to the conquest of Babylonia by the Persians.”—George Smith. Hammurabi himself did much to give to Babylon the elements of permanency that caused it to continue a great city and a mighty capital for more than twelve hundred years. He introduced, if he did not invent, a grand system of irrigation. An embankment was built against the Tigris, and a net-work of canals was constructed to distribute the waters that were drawn from the rivers. The main canal, as repaired by the great Nebuchadnezzar, was one of the wonders of Babylon when Herodotus described it about B. C. 450. Of the original of this great work, Hammurabi himself wrote thus:— EB 67.1

“Hammurabi the powerful king, king of Babylon,
the king renowned through the four races,
conqueror of the enemies of Muruduk,
the ruler of the delight of his heart am I.
When Anu and Bel the people of Sumir
and Akkad to my dominion gave,
powerful adversaries into my hand they delivered.
The river Hammurabi-nuhus-nisi (Hammurabi the delight of men)
flowing waters giving pleasure to the people
of Sumir and Akkad I excavated,
the whole of its banks to its course I restored,
the entire channel I filled, perennial waters

for the people of Sumir and Akkad I established.
The people of Sumir and Akkad,
their chief men I gathered,
authority and possessions I established to them;
delight and pleasure I spread out to them,
in luxurious seats I seated them.
Then I Hammurabi, the powerful king,
blessed by the great gods,
with the powerful forces which Muruduk gave me,
a great wall with much earth,
its top like a mountain raised,
along the river Hammurabi-nuhus-nisi I made.”
39

50. It will thus be seen that he not only established an excellent system of irrigation, but that he took a personal interest in distributing the people throughout the land, and training them into the enjoyment of the benefits which were thus brought within their reach. The land of Babylon was marvelously productive. Herodotus says of it that “of all the countries that we know there is none which is so fruitful in grain. It makes no pretension indeed of growing the fig, the olive, the vine, or any other tree of the kind, but in grain it is so fruitful as to yield commonly two-hundred-fold, and when the production is the greatest, even three-hundred-fold. The blade of the wheat-plant and the barley-plant is often four fingers in breadth. As for the millet and the sesame, I shall not say to what height they grow, though within my own knowledge; for I am not ignorant that what I have already written concerning the fruitfulness of Babylonia must seem incredible to those who have never visited the country.”—Rawlinson. 40 Having secured to two whole nations of people—Sumer and Accad—in his own time, and to untold numbers for the future, the blessings of husbandry in such a land as this, Hammurabi, of Babylon, deserves to be distinguished as one of the greatest kings of all time. EB 68.1

51. He himself, however, does not seem to have looked upon this as his best title to distinction. As seen above, he counted it worthy of honorable mention as one of the things that he had done; but when he speaks of what he was, he dwells upon altogether a different thought. This is what he says as to that:— EB 68.2

“1. Hammurabi
2. the king, the powerful warrior
3. destroying the enemy,
4. possessor of his enemies.
5. Maker of battle,
6. spreader of reverence.
7. The plunderer,
8. the warrior,
9. the destroyer.” 41
EB 69.1

52. Samsu=iluna, or Sumu-la-ilu, the son of Hammurabi, came next to the throne. Scarcely anything more than his name is known, except that he rebuilt the chief temple of Babylon. It was, presumably, a temple to the sun, as his name signifies. “The Sungod (is) our god.” EB 69.2

53. Ebisum, or Abesukh, was the son and successor of Samsuiluna. Of him so far only his name is known from a dynastic tablet of the kings of Babylon; and from an inscription of his son and successor. EB 69.3

54. Ammi=satana was this son of Ebisum. His inscription is the following:— EB 69.4

“1. Ammi-satana
2. the powerful king,
3. king of Babylon,
4. king of Kes,
5. king of Sumer and Akkad,
6. king of vast (?)
7. land of Phenicia am I;
8. descendant of Sumu-la-ilu [or Sumulan],
9. eldest son
10. of Abesu, am I.” 42

55. This shows that the conquest of the west was still maintained by the kings of Babylon. EB 69.5

56. With Kara=indas of Babylon we enter upon a period of distinct and considerable historical detail. During the reign of Kara-indas, and for several successive reigns following his, the relationship between Babylonia and Assyria is so definite and continuous, and the account of it is so clearly given in the native records, that we begin to realize that now we are treading upon firm historical ground. His official inscription reads as follows:— EB 69.6

“Kara-indas, the powerful King, King of Babylon,
King of Sumir and Akkad, King of Kassu,
King of Karuduniyas.” 43

57. In the time between Ismi-dagan and king Kara-indas, Assyria had acquired independence under a certain Bel=kapkapu, who, in the Assyrian inscriptions, is given the title “the founder of the monarchy” of Assyria. Between this Bel-kapkapu, of Assyria, and the reign of Kara-indas, of Babylon, the kings of Assyria had gained sufficient power to enable them to enter into treaties and agreements, upon equal terms with the kings of Babylon. The relations between the two countries and their kings are friendly, and, on the part of both, their treaties are entered into “of their own accord.” Such is the standing of the two kingdoms when we are again introduced to them by the following inscription:— EB 70.1

“Kara-indas, king of Kar-Dunias, 44 and Assur=bil=nisi=su king of Assyria, a covenant between them with one another established; and they gave an oath of their own accord to one another in regard to the boundaries.” 45 EB 70.2

58. Kara-indas of Babylon was succeeded by Kuri=galzu, whose reign was about 1650-1640 B. C. He was succeeded by his son, Burna=buryas. While Burna-buryas was king of Babylon, Buzur=Assur was king of Assyria. By this time it became necessary to settle the boundary again; and, as before, the two kings do it in a friendly conference, of which the following account is given:— EB 70.3

“Buzur-Assur, king of Assyria, and Burna-buryas, king of Kar-Dunias, had a conference; and a definite boundary they fixed of their own accord.” 46 EB 70.4

59. Buzur-Assur, king of Assyria, was succeeded by Assur=nadin=akhi, about 1640 B. C., and he by his son Assur=yuballidh. It was about 1636-1624 B. C. that Burna-buryas, of Babylon, and Assur-yuballidh, of Assyria, were contemporary. Burna-buryas married Muballidhat-Serua, the daughter of Assur-yuballidh. A son of this marriage, named Kara=Murudas, or Kara-Uras, succeeded to the throne of Babylon. At this the army revolted and slew King Kara-Murudas, and set up for king of Babylon a man of their own choice, named Nazi=bugas. About this time Assur-yuballidh died and was succeeded by his son Bel=nirari, uncle of Kara-Murudas who had been put to death in Babylon. Bel-nirari, to avenge his murdered nephew, marched with an army to Babylon, slew the new-made king, Nazi-bugas, and placed upon the throne of Babylon “Kuri=galzu the second,” another son of Burna-buryas. The original account runs thus:— EB 70.5

In the time of Assur-yuballidh, king of Assyria, Kara-Murudas, king of Kar-Dunias, the son of Muballidhat-Serua the daughter of Assur-yuballidh, soldiers of the Kassi revolted against him and slew him. Nazi-bugas a man of low parentage they raised to the kingdom to be over them. EB 71.1

“Bel-nirari to exact vengeance for Kara-Murudas, his nephew, marched to Kar-Dunias. Nazi-bugas, king of Kar-Dunias, he slew; Kuri-galzu the second, the son of Burna-buryas, he appointed to the kingdom; on the throne of his father he seated him.” 47 EB 71.2

60. This rebellion in Babylon put an end forever to any really friendly relations between Babylonia and Assyria. It was natural enough that the king of Assyria should avenge the murder of his nephew and restore the throne to the house of Burna-buryas. But this act of friendship was not much appreciated on the part of Kuri-galzu the second, of Babylon; or else Bel-nirari, of Assyria, took advantage of it to assert an undue authority in the affairs of the kingdom of Babylon; for it was not long before there was war between Bel-nirari and this same Kuri-galzu whom he had placed upon the throne. The armies met on the Tigris, and the forces of Kuri-galzu were “utterly defeated.” In the treaty that followed, the “definite boundary” of Assyria was carried as far as the land of Babylon, which would seem to imply that the land of Accad was made a part of the kingdom of Assyria. The record is as follows:— EB 71.3

“In the time of Bel-nirari king of Assyria, Kuri-galzu the second, king of Kar-Dunias, with Bel-nirari king of Assyria, in the city of’ Sugagi which is upon the Tigris, fought. He [Bel-nirari] utterly defeated him. His soldiers he slew. From the ascent (?) to the land of Subari as far as the land of Kar-Dunias they neutralized [literally “caused to be alike” to both] the country and fixed it; a definite boundary they established.” 48 EB 72.1

61. IN BABYLON,— EB 72.2

Kuri-galuz II was succeeded by his son Mili-sihu; and he by his son Merodach-Baladan I. In a record of the gift of “a plantation” to a certain governor, this genealogy is given as follows:— EB 72.3

“A field of the town of Dur-zizi beside the river Tigris, ... which Merodach-Baladan, the king of nations, king of Sumer and Akkad, son of Mili-sihu, king of Babylon, grandson of Kuri-galzu, the unrivaled king; to Maruduk-zakir-izkur, the governor of ... Appointed for after days, successive months and years unbroken, to that man without fail, I give for good, like the delight of heaven, for a settlement in return for his work.” 49 EB 72.4

62. IN ASSYRIA,— EB 72.5

Bel-nirari was succeeded by his son Pidol; and he by his son Rimmon-nirari. In an inscription left by Rimmon-nirari, this genealogy is given as follows:— EB 72.6

“Vul-nirari, the noble prince ... The mighty worshiper of Bel, son of Pudil, priest of Bel, viceroy of Assur, ... grandson of Bel-nirari, viceroy of Assur also, who the army of the Kassi destroyed, and the spoil of his enemies his hand captured, remover of boundaries and landmarks. Great-grandson of Assur-ubalid the powerful king, ... remover of boundaries and landmarks.” 50 EB 72.7

63. Rimmon-nirari declares himself the “conqueror of the armies of the Kassi, Guti (Goim), Lulumi, and Subari, destroyer of the upper and lower foreigners, trampling on their countries from Lubbi and Rapiqu, to the confines of Zabiddi and Nisi.” The country of the Kassi was southeast of Assyria; the Goim were the “nations” of Genesis 14:1, and were a nomadic people to the eastward of Assyria; and Subari lay at the northwest, in the angle formed by the Euphrates and the mountains. The Assyrian kingdom was thus enlarged by Rimmon-nirari to the northward, the southeastward, and the eastward. But this was not all: it was extended to the southward also. “This tablet is of the highest importance: it shows that Assyria at this time had already taken a leading place in the world. The Kassi who were defeated both by Bel-nirari and his grandson Vulnirari, were the leading tribe in Babylonia at this time.”—George Smith. 51 EB 72.8

64. As the record makes no mention of any difficulty between Mili-sihu and Pudil, nor between Merodach-Baladan and Rimmonnirari, it must be that the relations between these two kingdoms continued according to the settlement made by Bel-nirari and Kurigalzu. But when Nazi-Murudas succeeded Merodach-Baladan, there was war again, with the result that the Babylonian forces were again completely overthrown. The record states it thus:— EB 73.1

“Rimmon-nirari king of Assyria, and Nazi-Murudas king of KarDunias, fought with one another in the city of Kar-Istar-Agar ‘sallu. Rimmon-nirari utterly overthrew Nazi-Murudas. He shattered his forces; his camp and his tutelary gods he took from him. In regard to a definite boundary, ... their boundaries, from the direction of the country of Pilasq on the farther banks of the Tigris and the city of Arman-Agar ‘salli as far as the country of Lulume, they established and fixed.” 52 EB 73.2

65. Shalmaneser I, the son of Rimmon-nirari next succeeded to the throne of Assyria. He gives us his genealogy in the following words:— EB 73.3

“Shalmaneser, the powerful king, king of nations, king of Assyria; son of Vul [Rimmon]-nirari, the powerful king, king of nations, king of Assyria, son of Budil, the powerful king, king of nations, king of Assyria also.” 53 EB 73.4

66. He declares himself the “Conqueror of ... Niri, Lulumi, ... and Muzri, who in the service of the goddess Istar, his lady, has marched and has no rival; who in the midst of battle has fought and has conquered all the lands.” The Niri, or Nairi, were at the northward about Lake Van. Muzri was east of Assyria. He tells how that “from its foundation to its roof,” he had rebuilt a temple of Istar at Nineveh which had been originally built by one of the earliest kings of Assyria; and which, having fallen into decay, had been restored by Assur-yuballidh; but in the course of his own time had again decayed. He also built for himself a palace in the city of Nineveh, making it his capital city. He is the earliest of the Assyrian kings, so far as any present known records show, who made Nineveh a royal residence. One of the bricks of this palace has been found bearing the words: “Palace of Shalmaneser, king of nations; son of Vul [Rimmon]-nirari, king of nations also.” He rebuilt also the city of Calah. Although he rebuilt the temple of Istar “from the foundation to the roof,” it appears that he did not entirely finish it; this was done by his son and successor. EB 73.5

67. Tugulti=ninip was the name of this son of Shalmaneser I. He speaks of himself as having “completed” the temple of Istar built by his father. His words are as follows:— EB 74.1

“Tugulti-ninip king of nations, son of Shalmaneser king of nations also; who the temple of Istar the lady powerful, completed.” 54 EB 74.2

68. Tugulti-ninip invaded Babylonia, subdued it, and held it under his power for seven years, “thus uniting the whole Euphrates valley under one sceptre.”—George Smith. 55 Then the chief men of Babylon and Accad revolted and placed on the Babylonian throne the native heir to it—Rimmon=nadin=akhi. Their success was assured by a conspiracy against the king of Assyria in his own capital. His own son Assur=natsir=apli, or Asshur-nazir-pal, was one of the principals, if not the leader, of this conspiracy. They shut up Tugulti-ninip in his palace, and afterward murdered him. A Babylonian account of these points is as follows:— EB 74.3

“Tukulti-ninip returned to Babylon and approached, the fortress of Babylon he captured; the Babylonians, with the sword he caused to be slain; the property of Esaggil and Babylon, the ... of the great lord Marduk [Merodach], in his hand he gathered and caused to be taken to Assyria. The policy of his prefects in Kar-Dunias he settled. Seven years Tukulti-ninip Kar-Dunias governed. Afterwards the great men of Akkad and of Kar-Dunias revolted against him, and Rammanu-nadin-akhi on the throne of his father they set. Tukulti-ninip who Babylon to evil had brought, Assur-natsir-apli his son, and the great men of Assyria, revolted against him and from his throne they threw him; and in Kar-Tukulti-ninip, in the house, they shut him up and killed him with the sword.” 56 EB 74.4

69. Queries may already have arisen in the mind of the reader as to why it was that the ambitious kings of Babylon and Assyria of these later times, made no conquests, nor even any expeditions, in the regions of the west, such as were made in the earlier times by Chedorlaomer, Sargon, and Ammi-satana. Why was the war-spirit of the kings of these two countries indulged altogether in battles with one another, or with Elam on the east, or, as in the case of Shalmaneser, with the wild tribes of the north or of the east? The answer to this is that Egypt had extended her power over all the west; and even over Babylonia and Assyria, so that the kings of both Babylon and Assyria paid tribute to Egypt and acknowledged her suzerainty. EB 75.1

NOTE.—Since the first edition of this work was issued, there has been found and translated the “Code of Hammurabi,” the great king of earliest Babylon. By the translators it is called “The Oldest Code of Laws in the World.” Possibly this may be correct: it is certain that it is the oldest one that has been discovered. However, it is simply a civil code of originally two hundred and eighty-two sections (or rather items; for each section is composed of a single sentence, many of them quite short), thirty-five of which have been obliterated. The contents of the code are so entirely of local interest only, that the real value of it for our day does not justify the great importance that has been given it in the public prints. It contains regulations as to marriages, dowries, inheritances, rentals, contracts, rates of hire or wages, penalties for thefts, embezzlements, murders, bodily injuries, etc. EB 75.2